Can The World Just Stay Saved For A While?


elisabeth2_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Can The World Just Stay Saved For A While?
Synopsis Answer: Hell no.
Date Feb 5, 2009

Cuban Restaurant in NYC

Dinner in Manhattan on Friday night can be a competitive affair — required reservations or hour-long waits for even mediocre establishments are not uncommon. Eight o'clock is prime time, but here in this little hole in the wall Cuban restaurant, named Babalu's, Veronica has managed to procure a corner table as she waits for Elisabeth Harrison to arrive. Most of the clientele speaks Spanish, and the small diner is loud and boisterous as the patrons watch a futbol team on the television. The food is good, simple and hearty, and the owners friendly, greeting each patron like they were a long lost relative. While Liz and Veronica may stand out from the normal crowd, there is little chance that anyone in the restaurant would have ever heard of the Company or the matters that the agent has called the new Frontline recruit to speak about.

When she steps in, the scents of the restaurant bring a smile to the tired blonde's face. Elisabeth looks around and spots Veronica, and she gestures to the hostess to let her know that she's seen her party. Then she winds her way through the tables to join the other woman. "Well hey there," she greets quietly, sliding into her seat and slumping slightly. "How're you doing, lady? Back to the grind?"

The brunette agent smiles at the blonde. "Yeah, back at it… they won't let me sit on my couch eating bon bons and watching All My Children and the Ellen Show forever, unfortunately." She gives a nod toward the other, noting her weary slump. "You look tired. They kicking your ass over there? I'll try not to keep you out too late." Veronica picks up her beer and taking a sip from it. There's already water on the table as well as some bread.

Shoving a hand through her hair, Elisabeth leans forward and helps herself to her water. "Yeah… I don't think I've ever done so much physical exertion in my life," she admits. She seems more mellow than she was when we all got off the carrier, the numb grief no longer enshrouding her so deeply. "I was actually really glad you called, though — I've asked some friends to keep a closer eye on Abby's bar, both cops and some of the folks from the carrier, but …. I'd really like it if you could, too." She grimaces. "One of her girls was killed outside the other night. And worse yet…. fuckin' Kozlow is in town. There's no real hint they're connected or anything, but… it makes me more than a little nervous."

"Shit. I'm sorry to hear that — those are nice girls, and Abby certainly doesn't need any grief. I'll do what I can," she says. "I really don't know the details of what happened to Bravo and Charlie teams, there, as half the time I was in medical and the other half, well, I'm not exactly welcome company for some of them." She gives a shrug. "I'll do what I can. Actually, I was hoping you could keep an eye on something for me." The server approaches, handing them menus — Veronica thanks him in Spanish, making a joke about the soccer game which earns her a friendly smile, before he leaves the two women once more to their chat.

Veronica leans forward, her husky voice dropping a touch, though not enough to seem suspicious. "I had a phone call — strange number, untraceable but to a throw away cell bought in New Jersey. Told me to look into several people including our friend Steel… as well as Gregor, a Moab escapee named Doc Carpenter, and a Doctor Zimmerman." She picks up a piece of bread, tearing it into smaller pieces onto her plate. "I can't get much more than dead ends filewise, but another little birdie told me to keep an eye on Kershner."

Reaching up to take the menu, Elisabeth smiles as well. And then she looks at Veronica at the mention of a request. Her blue eyes narrow slightly. "Really?" She purses her lips thoughtfully. "Now that's a bit interesting…." Glancing around the place, she comments, "Let's order. Then we'll have time to really talk." She glances through the menu and waits until Veronica is ready, then waves the waiter over. Only when he has taken their orders and departed with the menus does she slip a privacy bubble around them.

"Now, let's get to the nitty gritty here. Kershner…. is a shark. Not sure who told you to watch her, but they're not wrong. My only real hope here is that her agenda works with mine in terms of helping as many people as possible. But I'm interested in this call you got…. because certainly we didn't entirely wipe out the Vanguard. We knew that. I'm not familiar with Carpenter, though I can look that up for you." She has access to names out of Moab. "But Zimmerman, unless I'm very much mistaken, is the man who came barrelling out of a hallway on fire at me in the middle of the Pinehearst building. I'm mostly sure he's dead." She looks squarely at Veronica as she admits she helped destroy Pinehearst that night. Cuz hey, she has a pardon.

Destroying Pinehearst only puts Elisabeth up a few more notches in Veronica's book, so she doesn't take issue with it at all. "Sounds like he's not dead, though you didn't hear that from me. And possibly not acting of his own volition when he was with Pinehearst. The person on the phone seemed to believe figuring out where those four men is of extreme importance. Like, the future depends on it, I believe were his words. It could be a trap — it could be a lot of things. But looking at what those four can do terrifies me. You have Steel, with his genius and his robots and god knows what else; Gregor…" Veronica gives a shiver at that.

"Carpenter's power is terrifying, too. He can … xerox people's personalities or whatever into another. Now given what Zimmerman might have been working on —" the agent pauses there, not sure how much to say. She swore to Bishop she wouldn't repeat things, and yet she's already repeated some of it. Her job or her memory or her entire life — literally — could be on the line here. "Do you know what he was working on at Pinehearst?"

Eyebrows shoot up. "I missed the end of the fight," Elisabeth admits. "When I vibrated a Petrelli clone into bloody mist, amped up by Gilly, well…. I sorta lost consciousness. So I don't know what happened. But I got the impression the man was being experimented ON, not doing the experimenting. Of course, it was chaotic and I could have misread it." She ponders the intel Vee is sharing, and her head jerks up at the comment that the future depends on it. Wariness darkens her blue eyes. "I hate it when they say that." She bites her lip and says softly, "They were creating a formula to create Evo abilities in people not born with the gene. So far as I know."

Well, that eases Veronica's conscience a little bit. "Zimmerman would have been the one to be developing that. So put those four together and… I don't even want to know what is possible. And somehow," she says, tapping the table thoughtfully, "somehow Sarisa's a part of it — which probably means FRONTLINE is, too." She shakes her head. "If you could just… you know… keep your eyes and those brilliant ears of yours open while you're around her…" She picks up her glass of beer and takes another swallow. "It's all unofficial, by the way. It's not an open investigation for us."

There is a soft laugh and Elisabeth leans on her elbows on the table. "Vee, let me ask you something. You said to me on the carrier that we were working on the opposite sides of things. But…. knowing what you know NOW about what I was doing and how I was doing it… do you still think so?" It may seem a non sequitor, but the answer seems important.

"To be honest? It seems like most of us are all trying to do the same thing, in different ways — keep the world safe, keep the people with the big guns from blowing up those without them — whether the guns are nukes or powers, it makes no difference," Veronia says with a soft chuckle that echoes Liz's. "I got into this job to protect, as ironic as that sounds I know to those who think we're the boogey man who go and steal little kids from their beds at night. It's like religion — the end goal is the same, right? Everyone wants to get to heaven but what they do to get there is different. And there's no one right answer, or at least none that we're going to know of in this world."

She smiles and leans back in her chair. "I don't think you and yours are the enemy, no. We're not even on opposite sides — at least most of the time. You guys took out Pinehearst probably more effectively than we would have, and we were working on it."

"Speaking of exploding buildings and all…" nice segue! "What do you know about Mortimer Jack?"

There's a bit of a shrug and Elisabeth grins. "I've never cut loose like that before. It was the coolest thing ever. Not the bloody mist thing, but the whole ID4 exploding every window in the place thing? Totally rocked." She wrinkles her nose a bit. "Jack? He's…. a complete psycho. Half the time. Tyler Case did something to him, if I remember right. So now he's sort of… Sybil, only with two personalities instead of like nineteen. The one part of him seems like a really good guy. He was seeing one of my partners on the PD for a while — I didn't know that part til way late in the game. But I've met him since." She glances at Vee. "Between me, you, and the fence post, the psycho half of him is still there. But the good half seems to be in control most of the time. Why?"

Tyler Case being mentioned just gets a shake of head from Veronica. One day he will quit following her around like a ghost. "But of course," she says with a wry smile that fades of course as Jack's more psycho nature is discussed. "How dangerous is he — do you think the normal half — Mortimer, I suppose — is capable of keeping reins on the crazy half? It's unofficial business, too — we're just supposed to 'assess his threat level,' as he's resurfaced lately. Just getting your detectively opinion."

How much to say here. That's a hard call. Vee has some amount of Elisabeth's trust at this point. "I think that he's under control. When I ran into him, it was actually sort of a social thing. He asked me how my partner was doing, and when I told him she was happily settling into almost-married life, he got real sad…. and then seemed to need to talk. So he gave me this whole spiel about how his halves are working together. It sounds like they're not as much a threat anymore. Not a black-hole level threat. But…. at the same time, he's a wanted felon. Take that for what it's worth." She smirks faintly. "I'm not a cop anymore, so it's not my problem to try to run him in."

"Surprisingly, I don't think we're looking to black hole him, or I'd already have bagged and tagged him," Veronica replies with a shrug. "Thanks for your opinion, though. I trust it." She smiles at Liz. As long as Vee is Company, there will be have to be certain lines they don't cross, but the two might have made close friends if they worked for the same agency, or so Veronica thinks to herself. "So. What say you regarding Kershner? You think you can try and keep an eye on her? Obviously, don't put yourself in harm's way. But whatever you learn — I think maybe the more the merrier if it comes to stopping whatever's going on."

"Oh, I'll definitely be keeping my eyes and ears on that one," Elisabeth replies mildly. And she smirks faintly. It's kind of a given. "If you get any more anonymous calls, though…. I'd like you to keep me in the loop about those, all right?" She nibbles her lip. "Vee…. have you seen this whole thing with Rebel and the newspaper? The rumors and reports of camps and the flu vaccine?"

"A little bit," Veronica says with a frown. "I just got back on the job this past week, and I'm working on the Jack stuff and now this anonymous call thing. I'm sure someone at the office is working on this. It is worrying… I didn't see anything strange when I was on Staten the other day, but then I didn't go any deeper than the Rookery."

"Rumor has it that people have gone missing from H1N1 vaccination clinics. Just vanished. And the rumor also has it that Evos are far more virulently effected. The intel seems sound, comes from the CDC — though what I know of it is obviously extrapolated knowledge." Elisabeth sighs. "I have a feeling, Vee, that it was not the end… and not even the beginning of the end. Just the end of the beginning." She smiles ruefully. "Just once, can't we save the world have it stay saved for a while?"

Once, Veronica might not have been as worried by the news, but now that more of her friends than not are Evolved, that her family of Brian and his sister are Evolved, she feels sick to her stomach. "I'm thinking this group of men and the Rebel information are connected, and I don't like the fact that if so, it seems to be with government aide or even sanction."

"Yeah… therein lies my concern, too," Elisabeth admits. "We going to keep one another informed as much as we can?" she asks.

"Definitely. If Apollo taught us anything, it's that we can work together, right? And I trust you and respect you, Liz. I know you won't use this information for self gain, and I know you won't use it to back stab me, though if my organization has anything to do with it, you have my permission to try to kick the shit out of them." She smirks at that, then shakes her head before Liz takes that theory too far. "I don't think we do, as … well. I was encouraged by someone to look into this, if unofficially."

"That's interesting," Elisabeth comments mildly. "I trust you, but I admit that I do not trust most of your higher-ups, Vee. You, and probably most of the people between you and the high muckity-mucks, are on the level — it's those people calling the shots that I have issues with. I'll share info, but just… be careful to whom you report anything I say to you." She grins a little. "Wish the cowboy were still around. Him, I would trust."

"My higher up only wants to know what comes out of this in an emergency, so I think it's just us renegades on this one, Harrison," Vee replies, with a smirk. "I was thinking of bringing the cowboy in on it, actually, though I'm not sure I want to bother him in his retirement. Did you know he's pregnant?" She winks at that. Of course she means his girlfriend is pregnant. "Expecting, and engaged. Nice to see he could escape the madness. I'm not sure I want to ruin it for him."

There's a blink. And a stare. And Elisabeth has that look of 'holy shit!' "Well, goddamn," she drawls mildly. "That's two down." Shaking her head, she has to smile though there's a hint of something a bit more solemn to the smile. "Good for him," she says. "I didn't even know he was seeing someone."

Veronica nods and smiles. "I haven't met her, but apparently she's sweet and she seems to be good for him," the agent says with a smile. The server approaches with their food, and when he leaves, Veronica picks up her fork. "Maybe happy ever afters are possible — if we can keep the damn villains down. If the world would just stay saved." She sighs, digging up a bit of food. "Eat, Harrison. You need all the energy you can get for boot camp on Monday."

Elisabeth glances at Vee with a faint, bitter smile. "Didn't you get the memo? There are no happily ever afters for people like us, lady." She digs into her dinner, though, turning the conversation to other topics while they eat.

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